The use of caprolactam in nylon 6 resin production employed in engineering plastics and electronic applications is anticipated to experience major growth in the market over the next few years. The tire cables made from nylon 6 fiber offer superior wear resistance and high strength characteristics due to which demand for the caprolactam market is estimated to rise in the forecast period.
Caprolactam (CPL) is manufactured by the synthesis of phenol or cyclohexane., The colourless solid is a cyclic amide or a lactam of caproic acid. Caprolactam is the predecessor to nylon 6, an extensively used synthetic polymer. Almost all caprolactam produced goes into the manufacture of nylon-6 and is the key raw material for nylon 6. In water, caprolactam hydrolyses to amino caproic acid, which is used medicinally. Caprolactam is an important polymer having a wide range of applications across different industries.
Caprolactam is used to produce nylon 6 fibers and resins that are used widely in various applications. Owing to the superior chemical as well as physical characteristics of caprolactam such as light weight and high tensile strength, nylon 6 fibers have become materials of choice in various textile and carpets application. As nylon 6 fibers offer great tensile strength, durability and fatigue resistance, they are used in making tire cords. The resistance of nylon 6 to oils and greases has further extended its use in engine covers, gears and bearings.
By product segment type, the global caprolactam market can be divided into applications of nylon 6 fibre and nylon 6 resins. On the basis of applications of nylon 6 resins, the global caprolactam market can be divided into engineering plastics, packaging, electronics and others (lysine synthesis, composites and musical strings). Based on applications of nylon 6 fibre, the global caprolactam market can be categorised into textile, industrial, carpet, machinery, E&E, automotive, film and coating, consumer goods, appliances, wire and cable, and others.
Upcoming investments and expansions is a major trend in the caprolactam market. Caprolactam is increasingly replacing metals in automotive applications such as air intake manifolds in nylon 6 resin. Hence, in terms of research and development, the manufacturing associations, companies and end-product manufacturers impart high investments for future expansions and technology modifications of caprolactam. The need to improve the standard of processing and manufacturing of end-products is one of the major drivers of the caprolactam market. As the automobile industry continues to grow, it is expected to drive the industrial yarns market in the coming years, which in turn is driving the market for caprolactam. Further, caprolactam is expected to drive the future market growth with increased demand of nylon 6 polymers in apparels, swimwear, sportswear, and fashion wear. Various minor metal components have been replaced by nylon 6 resin for weight reduction. Looking forward, the increase in demand and production of automobiles is expected to be a major market driver for nylon 6 resin and subsequently the caprolactam market.
Unstable raw material prices and concentration of demand of caprolactam in few countries are the key challenges for caprolactam market. Asia-Pacific holds the leading caprolactam capacity, with Europe and North America also having large volumes of caprolactam. Country-wise, China, the U.S, Belgium, Taiwan and Russia have the largest capacities.
DSM, Honeywell, Ube Industries, BASF SE and Capro Corporation are some of the major competitors in the caprolactam market. Other competitors in the global caprolactam market are China Petrochemical Development Corporation, Azot Cherkassy, Braskem, Domo Caproleuna GmbH, DSM, GSFC Ltd , Shandong Haili Chemical Industry Co. Ltd., Sumitomo Chemical, Lanxess, DSM, Toray Industries, Univex Corp. and many more.
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